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Sex and World Peace 

Valerie M. Hudson and Chad Emmett 
Woodrow Wilson Center, April 2012 

What are the sources of conflict and 
instability within and between states? 

Standard IR/Security Studies lists would include 

+ Ethnonationalism/Clash of civilizations 

+ Democracy deficit 

+ Poverty, resource scarcity 

+ Ideological conflict 

+ Power imbalances and power vacuums 

What about the situation and security of 
women within nation- states? 

+ The realms of IR and treatment of women may at first blush not 
appear to inhabit the same conceptual space at all. 

+ And yet . . . "The world is starting to grasp that there is no 
policy more effective in promoting development, health and 
education than the empowerment of women and girls. And I 
would venture that no policy is more important in preventing 
conflict, or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has 

--Kofi Annan, 2006 

Consider "blood spilt and lives lost". . 

IBD.OOD.OQfl -i 

16.3. 000.000 - 

Estimate of Missing 

Death Toll V,. w 

Women in Asia poosj 


(UN.FFA, &tiBi3tc|(a| ie* 

Death Toll III |.| & 


Estimate of Missing 


Women in A$i^ \w,\ 

lllllNl II ,l.-ll.|-|. |1| 


Death TolJ n i 



H 0.000,000 


i i .. .i ■ 

-.! |rl HI ■III.. Il| 




Death TqII 1 

Asian Countries ^tno| 

fHudsoB/toen BMr tiorfenatt) p\ 


tajooojoao — 


20 J 000 1 000 — 

Death by D 

eath Due to Societal 

War/Civil Strife 

Devaluation of 

in 20th Century 

Female Life 

-AJghanlsLmjI.I mlllkin) 
-Btuqgladetti | J.J miUli n| 

-Paldrtam [S---9- million] 
Siiinl - ! K •"•.,! I.) i milli.-i - i| 

-Tahnn [U.^ mUtiu-nj 

i ,.- ■ i-v-.i-i I i 

i..:-m ' '. : -i:-i l-i 


Death Toll V 

-Brazil (I, I nlllEota) 

-R WH-MjKllws* V*r [. 1 3- inSlll V-nJ 

■Ivilk"-- [.14 hiilllo-nj 

-Gt* itkui Em* Afrtea^UtmlMan) 


-tfiwi-TwrkteJi War (J* miEiMi) 

-Spmulsh Civil WjrH? mlMon) 

-Al.-. ,-.,.,., |..i 1 ..:lln „| 

-ftwso-Flrvulsh Wjf(.I5 mllllnu) 

-OtiKlcdvilWat (-IfiatiJUoB) 


-Hurt InukK-hiim W*r(.4 nilthw) 

-CMu»nN*(-3 inlllliin) 

I,:. I , ..„• i.. ,. ■■ .-. I... ,:, 
-RumjnLt (_l 3 mJUkiiiJ- 


Death Toil IV 

■ i- ■ ... „■; i-.., ; 
-M*Sfc*n FtewlilIJu-N(ll miUk'n) 
-Erhioj*ifl.1 miJlkuiJ 
-NF.../I > ; ir,Fir nij 
-Mr.EiUTihjijUie [l miltiinij 
-Sudan U^lntlliifji) 

Death Toll HI 

-E**-PH)C 20tra ceiititri' Cliiiu{4 rnUlMn} 

-Canpa Jrtth century (3uS ntilllnii) 

-Vietnam (1.3 mJLIU.Mil 

-Hon* mLILIan] 

-AI"|4Iu.iiimjii (L-S million], 

-KhiuiT k,.Lij>-V Cjiobixlu | J.'. 1 :, million] 

Estimated Armenian pjcncicide (1.5 millio 
.Rjnan CJviJ War ( I A million) 
-Rwanda/Burundi [J .35 mdlliwii} 


Iran/l raq War | ] m LI linn | 

-BuraiuyiMI>'4runut{.l '■ milium 

-Aj^'Kift [.7 inillk.nli 
-GL*m*mai* {.2 mJukin} 

1:1 ■Il-I.l i I ll!Kl:->.li 

-li^nJ^f.b it»|||h>n) 
-Angoh (.* mUlkni] 
-flu* TtBWt (,2 mllltou) mHI^Mi] 
4raq [,7 Mllkm] 
-Llt»r!4|.|i million] 
■J.-Mi.i..: M m.liii .t i 

-SiHK.ili.l 1.1 M.MIi. ..| 

- .1 V -. ■■' .. I i-.| ■) 

S^-ii-.s I i-.riL- i .----: i: .. i: i :i. 

Surely the security of the state 
impacts the security of women 

• • • 

But might the security of 
women impact the security of 

Mitigated and unmitigated male 
dominance hierarchies 

+ Male-bonded groups are at the heart of society as an 
evolutionary legacy 

+ Authoritarian 

+ Inherently unstable 

+ Violent 

+ Violence towards outgroups serves as a male bonding 

mechanism, dampening within-group tensions between males 

+ Key tension: Higher ranked males must keep subordinate males 
under control and loyal to the group, but subordinates may 
become complete reproductive failures if they are successful 

+ Key indicators: high gender differentiation, high levels of 
violence against women, highly inequitable family law favoring 

Mitigation is possible . . . 

+ Mitigation of male dominance hierarchies as the primary 
form of social organization is possible, and does dampen 
state instability and conflict 

+ Hajnal-Hartman thesis on the origins of democracy in 
northwestern Europe 

+ Hudson et al. demonstrate that the level of violence 
against women in society is a better predictor of state 
peacefulness, both internally and internationally, than 
level of democracy, level of wealth, or prevalence of 
Islamic religion. 

Instead of Huntington' s civilizations as the 
engine of state conflict . . . 

Might we gain greater insight by examining 
the clash of Gender Civilizations? 

Women's Physical Security 


Women physically secure 

Women have high levels of physical security 

Women have medium levels o' physical security 

Women have la* levels o J physical security 

Women lac< physical security 

No data 

Scale coded July 2007 

Consider what researchers have found 
concerning the link between the 
situation and security of women and 
the situation and security of nation- 
states . . . 

Food Security and Women 

In sub-Saharan Africa, women perform 80% of agricultural labor, and over 50% 

+ But worldwide, women only own 2% of land 

Women are expected to process and cook food, find fuel and potable water, on top 
of all their other responsibilities for children and agricultural work 

+ Land extension agents are usually men, who only speak to men 

+ Remuneration for cash crops is given to the men 

In studies, 95% of a woman' s earnings go to her family, while only 40-60% of a 
man' s earnings go to his family. In agricultural societies, women are responsible to 
see that women and children do not starve: Men find it deeply culturally shameful to 
help their wives, and so do not assist them 

Two-thirds of all malnourished children are female children, and in many societies 
women and girl children are expected to eat last 

Might inequitable treatment of women make famine and malnutrition 

more likely? 

Economic Prosperity and Women 

+ The larger the gender gap, the lower the GDP 
per capita of a nation 

+ The larger the gender gap, the lower the rate of 
national economic growth 

+ Lower investment in female education is linked 
to lower national income 

+ Economic development projects with a gender 
component are more successful than those 

Might inequitable treatment of women make poverty more likely? 

Health and Women 

+ The smaller the gender gap, the lower the infant and child 
mortality rates 

+ The smaller the gender gap, the lower the level of child 

+ The smaller the gender gap, the lower the share of household 
income spent on cigarettes and alcohol 

+ The larger the gender gap, the higher the AIDS rate 

+ The larger the gender gap, the higher the infectious disease 

+ The larger the gender gap, the lower the life expectancy for 
both men and women 

Might inequitable treatment of women make disease and ill health more 


State Conflict and Women 

+ The higher the level of violence against women, the more 
likely a nation-state is to be non-compliant with 
international norms 

+ The higher the level of violence against women, the 
worse a nation-state' s relations with its neighboring 

+ The larger the gender gap, the more likely to be involved 
in inter- and intra-state conflict, and to use violence first 
in a conflict. 

+ The higher the level of violence against women, the less 
peacefully the nation-state will behave in the international 

Might inequitable treatment of women make conflict more likely? 

Governance and Women 

+ The larger the gender gap, the higher the levels of both 
perceived and actual government corruption 

+ The lower the gender gap, the greater the level of trust in 
government, and the greater the degree of transparency in 

+ When the representation of women in the councils of humanity 
is higher, more attention is given to 

+ Social welfare 

+ Fighting corruption 

+ Improving legal protections for citizens 

+ When women are represented in peace negotiations, 
participants are more satisfied with the outcome, and the 
agreement is more durable. 

Might inequitable treatment of women make poor governance more likely? 

Demographics and Women 

+ When marriage is hierarchical between men and 
women, and women have few rights in marriage, 
unsustainably high levels of population growth result 

+ When society makes caregiving economically irrational 
for women, subreplacement birth rates are the result 

Might inequitable treatment of women make demographic 

problems more likely? 

Might one great key to the Structural 
and Physical Violence we see around 
us in this world be the inequitable 
treatment of Women? 

If we concentrated more on mitigating male dominance 
hierarchies and resulting inequitable treatment of 
women, and less on the export of democracy or free 
market capitalism, would we have a better chance of 
achieving sustainable development and good 
governance, and lower levels of poverty, disease, and 

Secretary of State 
Hillary Rodham Clinton: 

"The subjugation of women is a 
direct threat to the security of the 
United States." 

March 12,2010 
at the United Nations 

Sex and World Peace 

+ Ten years of empirical research went into its making 

+ Commitment to interdisciplinarity 

+ Structure 

+ Key Terms 

+ The Three Wounds: A Descriptive Survey 

+ Scaling and Mapping the Situation of Women Worldwide 

+ Theoretical Framework 

+ Aggregate Statistical Testing 

+ Top-Down Approaches 

+ Bottom-Up Approaches 

+ R2PW: We are Less Helpless Than We Think 


The WomanStats Database 

+ Free online access; over 130,000 data points, with 
more added daily. Largest compilation of 
information on the status of women in the world 

+ Over 325 variables for 1 75 countries 

+ Maps and scales 

+ Data is viewable onscreen, or can be downloaded. 

+ Homepage: